The health of each piece of manufacturing equipment in your organization’s fleet is important. Maintaining the health of this equipment can be difficult, namely as a result of having to decide between two core maintenance approaches. The first, preventive maintenance, is an industry standard. The second, predictive maintenance; is much more sophisticated in nature, but even more effective.
Let’s begin with the former. Preventive maintenance has been the standard for some time in the manufacturing industry due to its simplicity. The strategy is as follows: schedule maintenance for each piece of equipment in intervals throughout the year based on critical elements of the equipment. Meaning organizations with older pieces of equipment may need to bring in a technician to work on this equipment much more frequently than their newer equipment. The same can be said for equipment with varying run times, as the equipment that sees more use will often require more tuning than equipment that rarely sees use. Finding the optimal maintenance time for any equipment with this strategy is tricky.
The latter, on the other hand, is much more refined. Predictive maintenance disregards scheduled maintenance intervals. Instead, through reliance of the equipment itself, this strategy is able to determine optimal maintenance scheduling. This is accomplished through highly integrated systems that connect to an organization’s equipment. Through the Internet of Things, organizations can monitor their equipment and perform analyses that can indicate when their equipment will fail and what maintenance it requires to reduce the chance of failure. With how effective this seems, why wouldn’t every organization employ these systems? Incredibly unforgiving costs are what keep organizations from these systems.
While it’s widely understood that the barriers to entry for a predictive maintenance strategy are high, what some organizations fail to realize is that they require a great deal of sophistication to operate as well. Meaning organizations will have to be capable of investing the capital and training their employees to master these systems in order to justify the investment. Unfortunately, for many organizations, this can be an impossible challenge. Organizations capable of investing this sort of capital would have to be confident that their employees could make a meaningful effort to adapting to these systems. While the training might not be easy, if you believe your employees can perfect their transition, a predictive maintenance system might be the right call for your organization.
For organizations looking for more information regarding the switch between preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance, be sure to check out the featured infographic coupled alongside this post. Details regarding some of the pros and cons of each approach have been detailed, courtesy of Industrial Service Solutions.